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Installation du bras robotique européen ERA sur le module russe Nauka. © Roscosmos

After 15 years of waiting, the European Space Agency’s ERA arm will finally reach the space station

We no longer expect that! Originally scheduled in 2007, the European arm of ERA would launch today. The ERA, along with the Columbus Science Laboratory and the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), is the third major component of European participation in the International Space Station programme. It is installed on the new Russian Nauka module, also called the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory (MLM) module, and will be assigned to the Russian part of the station, many parts of which are inaccessible to the Canardarm2 boom.

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an arm robotic ESA’s ERA, integrated into Russia’s Nauka module, will be launched on July 21 for ل International Space Station (ISS). Very late in its initial schedule – it was supposed to launch in 2007 – this arm was built by a European consortium, led by Airbus Defense and Space. era dedicated to Russian part The complex orbit Plus the Canadarm2 robotic arm that can’t reach all of this part of the International Space Station.

Naoka is a small space station. Although this unit is designed for experimentation and a living and working area for the astronauts, it will also serve as a docking port. It also has the peculiarity of being equipped with the CNG navigation and guidance control system in addition to the position control system. It could be used as a backup by the International Space Station and if the Russians decide to separate the Russian part of the International Space Station, as they expected, Nauka could be the heart of their future space station. The Nauka will be installed on the Zvzeda unit, instead of the Pirs unit, which will be separated from the Russian segment. Pirs was used as an additional docking port for Soyuz and Progress vehiclesand as a smuggler for Russian cosmonauts into space. It will be absorbed by progression.

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Supplementary arm for Canadarm2

Although very different from Canardam2, ERA will be a complement. It is 11.30 meters tall and weighs 680 kilograms, and it can move masses Very large, from three tons in routine to eight tons in slow mode. This two-handed symmetrical arm can move forward or backward under its own control along the International Space Station, from hand to hand, from one fixed point to another. the seven joints Durable, precise, lightweight ERA tips andthe computer The mid-arm control gives the robotic arm its versatility. It will be used to install and replace solar panels, inspect and assemble modules, and facilitate the movement of solar panels. astronauts Do a space walk. Finally, his cameras Infrared To inspect the outer surface of the station (aging of protective coatings, traces micrometeoriteand check attachments to modules, platforms, etc.).

ERA can be controlled from inside or outside the station, in real time or pre-programmed. With its joints, the ERA looks like a kind of human arm. It is powered by motors and cables. It is symmetrical, on both sides of the “elbow” there are “muscles” and “two wrists”. Its ends are able to stick to the terminal, which gives it a large range of motion throughout the Russian part. It will move installation from one end and then the other. Finally, it is equipped with many tools, including a platform with toe clips and a handrail to transport astronauts during their spacewalk. Among the main strengths of this arm:

  • Control from the outside using an external control panel;
  • Control from the inside using a laptop (without the need for joystick like the other arms of the International Space Station);
  • Pre-programmed operation
  • Automated collision avoidance system based on a software ;
  • 5 mm accuracy.

European astronauts maneuvering

Thomas Bisket The first electrical examination of the ERA will be conducted. Matthias Maurer, which is due to join the station in early November, should participate in a spacewalk to validate the operation in the orbit of the ERA arm. Later, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will carry out a new mission aboard the International Space Station at the end of 2022 (Crew 4), will also perform during a spacewalk, one of the ERA stabilization missions for Nauka.

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The European robotic arm awaits the departure of the International Space Station

Article by Remy Decor Posted on 07/30/2012

The launch of Russia’s Nauka Multifunctional Laboratory (MLM), scheduled for 2007, has been postponed several times and has just been postponed to 2013. It will be equipped with the European Space Agency’s long-running robotic Era arm. Years. Philip Schönigans, Era Project Manager, explains to Futura-Sciences the custom functions of this beautiful mechanism… which you eagerly await.

The Russian announcement was to postpone the launch of a missile Nauka . unit, which should be attached to its age (…)…………………………… ………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………………………European robotic arm), once again forced the ESA to patiently put up with its problems. As Philip Schoneghans (Era Project Director) stated in Futura-Sciences, “ The Era robotic arm has been operational for a long time ».

This arm is one of the three main contributions of European participation in Construction from International Space Station. This program was officially launched in November 1995 and its construction was completed at the end of 2004. Since 2008, it is located in Russia. At first, the program planned to launch by a space shuttle, then due to circumstances, a decision was made to send it in November 2007 on board proton With the MLM unit. Since then, the launch has been delayed several times to finally be set on December 10, 2013.

Roscosmos Having set her new schedule, nWe will prepare Era according to the new launch date Concretely, integration into the Russian unit is now planned for August 2013 and the whole, i.e. Nauka supported era, will soon be moved to the site Baikonuror Kazakhstan.

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For Philip Schönigans, that’s The relay has no effect on the arm itself It is currently stored in Conditions that prevent any deterioration that may damage its componentsلاف “.However, this postponement will result in additional cost because some industrial activities” over a longer period The examples are those associated with Software compliance for Nauka unit computers », in preparation for launch or even that of ensuring that the Era arm qualifies for a shipment by proton Russian” While it was originally qualified to launch on a US space shuttle ».

The Russian part of the International Space Station needs an era

Despite his late arrival aboard the International Space Station, Era’s arm must” We expect sustainable activity because the robotic arm Canadarm 2, provided by Canada, does not cover the entire Russian part ofIS ».

Upon arrival, Era will be used as a priority to complete Nauka’s setup. if he” You will install heat sink panels for the heat from loneliness “, The most common radiatorsand airlock equipment to exit in order to reduce crew space exits. The Era arm is designed to work with the Russian airlock, so that ” Astronauts no longer have to venture outside the space station to assemble certain bits of material. Using video cameras, the arm can conduct checks outside the station, can transport experiments and supplies, or even act as a lift for astronauts. ».

Finally, he will install the work platform on which the crew members will sit. This hook is at the end of the arm and” Astronauts are allowed to sit in a standing position for work or transportation All these items are already on board the International Space Station, stored in the Russian module الوحدة Rasvet (MRM-1).

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